Don Hedeker

Bouncing Balls

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Bouncing Balls is a decent collection of punk revival that chronicles guitarist Don Hedeker's immediate pre-Polkaholics involvement. Indebted to the Ramones and even the Violent Femmes, Bouncing Balls appears to be equally influenced by album rockers Cheap Trick and Mott the Hoople, particularly the "fat" sound of Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs. "Too Little Too Late" borrows a decipherable chord progression from the Ian Hunter/Mick Ralphs-penned "Violence." "Looking out for Number Two" employs a smarmy Gordon Gano-esque vocal line, as does "One Hundred Years," albeit both are heavier on guitar than the Femmes ever were. "Vampire of Energy" is an inexcusable piece of shrill, punkish cheerleading and screaming and is the only noticeable wart on this album. "Schoolyard Pirate" and "Live Wild" are two more quality rockers that again recall the influences of Don Hedeker's mentors a quarter-century prior. "Rock 'n Roll, Schmoozer's Game" is a clever juxtaposition of Cheap Trick's "Surrender" with Mott the Hoople's "Drivin' Sister," while fashioning its title from the line, "Rock & roll's a loser's game" from "Ballad of Mott the Hoople," so it's safe to conclude that Mott from 1973 found its way onto Don Hedeker's turntable a considerable amount of times in the years leading up to this recording.

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